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Latest Washington Marijuana Rules: Outdoor Grows, Concentrates In; Pot Logo Out

July 5th

OLYMPIA, WA — Washington state was the first in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use, but image-conscious regulators there think the cannabis-leaf logo designed for state-licensed pot merchandise conveys the wrong impression of the Evergreen State.

Dropping the marijuana leaf as an official state symbol was one of several changes contained in the latest draft of measures proposed by a three-member panel devising new regulations for the state’s nascent marijuana industry.

The proposals, released on Wednesday and containing mostly minor revisions to an earlier plan, included rules governing cultivation, sales and taxation of pot due to take effect when state-licensed retail marijuana stores open next spring.

Washington and Colorado became the only two U.S. states to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use after approval by voters last November, though Washington’s law went into effect first.

Both states, along with 16 others, also have legalized pot for medical purposes. The federal government, however, still classifies cannabis as an illegal substance.

The abandoned pot logo, which was to appear on any recreational-use marijuana or marijuana-infused product sold in th. . . . . READ MORE

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Washington State Moving Towards Allowing Outdoor Marijuana Cultivation

June 21st

OLYMPIA, WA – The regulatory board overseeing marijuana legalization in Washington State is leaning toward allowing licensed growers to cultivate marijuana outdoors, citing the much higher carbon footprint of indoor and greenhouse cultivation, board members said.

The view, which all three members of the Washington State Liquor Control Board told Reuters they shared, represents a reversal from the draft retail marijuana industry rules the body issued last month.

Indoor marijuana grows have a higher carbon footprint, even in hydro-electric powered Oregon.

Indoor marijuana grows have a higher carbon footprint, even in hydro-electric powered Oregon.

“If they can provide the security parameters that we require for indoor or greenhouse, if they can provide for that outdoors, then it’s OK with me,” board member Ruthann Kurose said, after a public meeting on Wednesday.

Washington and Colorado became the first U.S. states to legalize recreational pot after approval by voters last November, although the use and sale of marijuana remains. . . . . READ MORE

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Washington LCB Reconsiders Allowing Outdoor Marijuana Growing, Hash & Dabs

June 20th

OLYMPIA, WA — When the initial proposed regulations for Washington’s forthcoming recreational marijuana market were released in May, outdoor growing of marijuana was not permitted.  Neither were hash, hash oils, and concentrates such as dabs, unless incorporated into edible marijuana products.

Now, regulators at the state’s Liquor Control Board said Wednesday that they are reconsidering those prohibitions following a briefing on over 1,000 pages of comments sent by members of the community.

In Wednesdays briefing, three major changes to the proposed regulations were expressed to the board.

The biggest change would be allowing outdoor cultivation of marijuana, which would require a smaller carbon footprint than indoor growing.  In the first draft of the proposed rules, all marijuana would have been required to be grown indoors, or in green houses with rigid walls.

“With the proper security, we feel that outdoor grows would work as well as indoor grows,” acknowledged Liquor Control Board rules coordinator Karen McCall.

The Liquor Control Board also had proposed banning hash oils and concentrates, unless they were incorporated into edible food products.  With the majority of the feedback from the community overwhelmingly in favor of allowing concentrates, the LCB is looking to see how they can be allowed th. . . . . READ MORE

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WA: Medical Marijuana Patients Protest LCB Oversight Proposal

June 20th

OLYMPIA, WA — About 250 medical marijuana supporters rallied at the state capitol in Olympia Wednesday to protest an amendment to pending budget bills that would give the state Liquor Control Board control over the state’s medical marijuana program.

The Liquor Control Board is charged with overseeing the state’s forthcoming recreational marijuana retail market, and medical marijuana patients worry that incorporation of the medical marijuana program into the LCB’s control could lead to taxation of medical marijuana, the regulation of medical use, and age restrictions requiring patients to be 21 or older.

Draft versions of both the House and Senate budgets would require the state Liquor Control Board to develop new recommendations for how to tax and license medical marijuana, and to deliver those policy recommendations to lawmakers by January.

Washington’s voter-approved I-502 levies a new marijuana excise tax of 25 percent on each producer, processor and retailer of recreational marijuana.  Advocates say that if such a tax were imposed on the medical marijuana industry, many patients would be unable to afford their medicine.

“There is no other medication that is regulated and controlled by the Liquor Control Board,” said Steve Sarich, head of the Cannabis Action Coalition, who organized the rally. “They are absolutely unqualified to determ. . . . . READ MORE

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Moving Toward Legal Marijuana Commerce in Washington State

June 13th

OLYMPIA, WA — Voters approved the marijuana legalization initiative I-502 in Washington state last November, and it is now legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, but a full-blown marijuana commerce industry doesn’t just happen overnight. The state is still months away from having a functioning system of state-taxed and -regulated marijuana cultivators, processors, and retailers, but the process is well underway, and by most accounts, it is going relatively smoothly.

Washington-State-Liqour-Control-Marijuana-LogoLast month, the Washington Liquor Control Board (LCB), the state agency charged with setting up the state’s marijuana industry, issued its initial draft rules. It took written comments on the initial draft rules through Monday and will issue revised draft rules later this month.

The LCB will hold public hearings on the rules for all three envisaged licenses — grower, processor, and retailer — in late July, promulgate final rules in August, begin accepting license app. . . . . READ MORE

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Seattle Officials Want Private Pot Clubs, Home Delivery of Marijuana

June 12th

SEATTLE, WA — Seattle officials are recommending that Washington state authorize private marijuana clubs and examine allowing home delivery of cannabis as they work out rules for a recreational pot market, according to a letter sent to state regulators.

The recommendations sent by the Seattle city attorney with the blessing of the city’s mayor are among the hundreds received by the state’s Liquor Control Board before a Monday deadline for public comment on draft rules issued.

Voters in Washington state and Colorado in November became the first in the nation to approve taxing and regulating marijuana sales at the state level. Pot remains illegal under federal law, although it remains unclear whether the Obama administration will move to block the states from implementing their recreational markets.

Proposals for private pot clubs have been controversial in Washington state and Colorado, even while personal possession of the drug is already allowed in both states.

A letter sent to the Liquor Control Board on Monday from Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, which a mayoral spokesman said also represents the views of Mayor Mike McGinn, also said that marijuana consumption clubs should be provided to tourists and renters whose landlords do not permit marijuana use.

“We don’t want to limit it to where homeowners are in a special, better class, an. . . . . READ MORE

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Washington State Releases Proposed Recreational Marijuana Rules

May 17th

SEATTLE, WA —  Eight months after voters approved the Initiative 502, legalizing the  adult use of marijuana, officials in Washington have taken the first steps towards establishing rules for the state’s new recreational marijuana industry.

The 46 pages of draft regulations announced by the state Liquor Control Board Thursday  include “seed to store” tracking of marijuana, limits on the number of retail outlets per county, bans of marijuana extracts, including hash, oils, and concentrates, and mandatory 24-hour video surveillance at all marijuana related businesses.

The official Washington state logo issued by the State Liquor Control Board for marijuana and marijuana infused products.

The official Washington state logo issued by the State Liquor Control Board for marijuana and marijuana infused products.

Labeling requirements for marijuana and infused edible products would be required to warn that consumption of marijuana “may be habit forming,” and are unlawful outside of Washington State.  An official state-issued logo featuring Washington state with a marijuana. . . . . READ MORE

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Washington Close to Releasing Recreational Marijuana Industry Rules

May 16th

Revelers celebrate the end of marijuana prohibition in Washington on Dec. 6, 2012, following a midnight countdown at Seattle's Space Needle (AP)

Revelers celebrate the end of marijuana prohibition in Washington on Dec. 6, 2012, following a midnight countdown at Seattle’s Space Needle (AP)

SEATTLE, WA  – They’ve spent nearly eight months visiting marijuana grow houses, studying the science of getting high and earning nicknames like “the queen of weed.” Now, officials in Washington are taking their first stab at setting rules for the state’s new legal weed industry.

The state is expected to release preliminary draft rules Thursday afternoon, possibly covering an array of topics ranging from how pot should be grown, labeled and tested for quality assurance to what types of security should be required at state-licensed pot businesses.

But some of the most interesting questions – such as how much marijuana will be grown and how many retail stores will be licensed – aren’t likely to be answered yet. The state’s official pot consultant is still working to estimate how much marijuana people here use, and those estimates will help determine how much pot. . . . . READ MORE

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Seattle Police Chief Speaks at Pro-Marijuana Rally

May 12th

Jim Pugel

SEATTLE, WA —  In the wake of Washington’s historic  marijuana legalization measure last November, Seattle Police Department’s top cop,  Interim Chief Jim Pugel, spoke at the Cannabis Freedom March at Westlake Park on Saturday.

“We are not here to condemn it. We are not here to endorse it,” he said of marijuana use. “The police are here to make sure it is all done legally.”

Instead of fighting the voter approved measure, the Seattle Police Department have embraced the change, and are adapting to the new state law.

“We are public servants and we want to make sure what they voted for works,” Pugel added.

Pugel called on smokers to respect law enforcement and obey the law.

“Don’t use it in public, don’t provide to minors, buy only from lawful dispensaries,” he said.

Pugel added that the new law legalizing marijuana for adults made police officers’ jobs easier.

Several hundred people took part in Saturday’s “Cannabis Freedom March,” which was dubbed “A Funeral for Prohibition” by Seattle Hempfest organizers.

The annual march made its way from Volunteer Park to Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle.

Other  speakers i. . . . . READ MORE

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